As a girl and a feminist I’ve ever been interested in women’s stories. My last artwork project was called Union’ and I photographed girls in their wedding dresses in their own houses (sometimes many years after the wedding day) to be able to compare the fairy tale of the wedding day epitomised by the dress with the domestic reality of union. I realised I needed a more intimate window into women’s lives. Over the years many different motives crystallised and I felt compelled to undertake this endeavor, though it felt pretty left-field if you ask me. I’ve grown up surrounded by pictures of objectified women in the media. The portrayal of women appears so two dimensional and boxed-in to me. I find it an uneasy feeling. We’re more than that. We do not all conform to a homogenous small ideal of attractiveness, and our lives and experiences are rich and diverse. Media portrayal would have me believe I should be a passive Barbie doll in order to be happy, fulfilled, womanly. During the course of the job I realised that I was researching what it means to be a girl. Breasts are interesting in themselves, but they are also drivers for discussing intimate aspects of women’s lives: growing up, sexuality, relationships, breastfeeding, health, cancer, body image, eating disorders media and ageing, as well as more.

I thought about the endeavor for a year before I began – I figure I am a slow burner ! Undertaking such an extensive job and doing it correctly does take time.
How did you go about finding participants, and was it difficult? Were girls excited to participate?
It took me about a year to find all the girls. I ‘d a matrix’ of various sorts of women I wanted to locate, broadly representing women in the UK where I live. Distinct ethnicities, sexualities, places, shapes and sizes, life experiences and livelihood. Some girls were happy to take part, but not everyone concurred. I only wanted girls to participate if they were extremely comfortable. It is quite something in our culture to bare your breasts, in addition to personal narratives about them. I have done a lot of asking around, and later on some social media callouts. The girls who’d taken part were brilliant about evangelising for me. I ‘d to attend a lap dancing club to ask lap dancers to take part. Locating a nun took a really long time. Finally I gave up on finding a willing Catholic nun, but couldn’t be happier that I found a Buddhist nun to take part. I love her interview.
Catholic nuns did not clarify their reasons for not taking part, they merely said No’. I wish I understood!
I’m certain the anonymity part helped? Is that why you determined to make it anonymous? And I feel like the revealing of the breasts part would not be the hard thing so much as the vulnerability and of sharing one’s soul and storyline. Yet, many do regard their breasts as a “private part.” Did you find that to be accurate?
Certainly, baring your soul can feel more exposing than baring your breasts. It was important that contribution would be anonymous so that women would feel comfortable and safe doing both. Some girls had no qualms at all about getting their tops off in front of the camera. At the other end of the spectrum, one woman was very anxious because the only individual who had ever seen her breasts was her husband.
What were some of the reasons, or most common reason, these women chose to participate? Did they feel the must be heard, to get their stories outside?
I believe we like telling stories and we like hearing other people’s narratives. It truly is cathartic. I felt a two way healing procedure during some of the interviews.
One girl who’d had breast cancer said this: ‘I was keen to take part in this undertaking. beach 18 bikini needed there to be breasts with scars on.’ Other girls only liked the sound of the theory when I explained it and did not have special messages or aims, they were merely open minded to the procedure.
We seem to live in a society that is obsessed with breasts. They’re everywhere and used to sell anything and everything. And in the UK, individuals appear to be a whole lot less strict about showing nipples. (You never see lady nipples in public in America unless they are on a girl.) But when women try and breastfeed in public or be topfree like men, they’re met with hostility and harassment. What would you make of that?